By Sports Reporter/ Doha
Maxime Roux of France blew his competitors out of the water in the men’s Wakeboard Qualifiers at Leqtaifiya Lagoon yesterday.
The 15-year-old posted the day’s highest score of 91.78, netting 30.75 for execution, 30.06 for intensity and 30.97 for composition from the judges.
Speaking after his run, Roux said, “I am so stoked, it’s the best pass I’ve ever done. I did all my tricks well. I didn’t feel any pressure because I’m the youngest so I could just go and have fun.”
Roux’s performance in Heat 1 left him 2.89 points ahead of reigning European men’s wakeboard champion and 2015 world champion Massimiliano Piffaretti (ITA), who finished second, and 11.78 points higher than reigning world champion and winner of Heat 2 Cory Teunissen (AUS).
Teunissen had a disappointing run by his usual standards, with an uncharacteristic fall leaving him with a total score of 80.00 which would have had him fifth in Heat 1. However, retaining first place in his heat, the Australian was typically laidback about the result.
“I had a mess up but I’m pretty buzzing I made it through, that’s all you can really ask for right now and it’s on to the next one,” he said.
“It was kind of funny, the guy before me had two early falls and the boat normally waits up the end but they just turned the boat straight back around and came back, so there were a lot of rollers [waves] on my first pass. So I called for a re-ride but it ended up not making any difference. I fell straight away anyway, so it was kind of a little bit of a waste of time, but it was all right.”
America’s Guenther Oka also made it to the finals by finishing second in Heat 2. He will be joined by last chance qualifiers Shota Tezuka (JPN) and Luca Kidd (GBR).
In the women’s qualifiers, European champion Sanne Meijer (NED) was unruffled by amendments made to the towboat’s ballast before her run and notched up a particularly good first pass, including a superb tootsie roll, to bag a total of 69.44 points and go top of Heat 1.
Joining her in tomorrow’s finals are Italian sisters Alice and Chiara Virag, who came second in Heats 1 and 2 respectively.
Jamie Lopina (USA) was first off the dock in Heat 2 but set the standard high enough to hold onto the lead and book herself a place in the final with a total of 63.56, alongside last chance qualifiers Zhenkun Duan (CHN) and Ariana Eimer (GER).
In the Waterski Jump preliminary round, Marie Vympranietsova (GRE) took a commanding lead with a first jump of 47.9m.
Vympranietsova said she was feeling confident for the final.
“I always to try to get my first jump good enough for the finals and then I use the second and third just to get my strategy for the finals. So I feel like I can do more tomorrow,” she commented.
However, reigning world silver medallist Hanna Straltsova (BLR) will be nipping at Vympranietsova’s heels in the finals after she finished a metre short of the leader in second place.
“My aim is to win, of course,” Straltsova said, smiling.
The men’s Waterski Jump preliminary competition was cancelled due to dangerous winds. A majority of the nine team captains voted to allow all competitors through to the final tomorrow rather than reschedule the preliminary round.
Today will see all Waterski and Wakeboard medals decided, with the Waterski Jump finals starting at 08:00 and the Wakeboard finals at 11:00.
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